Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

I Speed limit c in the multiverse

  1. Jul 15, 2018 #1
    Do we know enough of the workings of string theory to say what factors give rise to a large or small value of the velocity of propagation of massless fields for a given multiverse?

    Thanks!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 15, 2018 #2

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    You can see a zillion threads here asking why the speed of light is what it is, but it is essentially a unit conversion. This question is tantamount to asking if a given multiverse has eleven inches to the foot.
     
  4. Jul 15, 2018 #3
    I guess the speed of light has a definition within an individual universe, with respect to whatever "rods and clocks" (as in special relativity) exist there. Bound systems like atoms will define a natural length scale, and e.g. decay processes will define a natural time scale. So if the question is, what determines those scales for a specific string vacuum, essentially it's the value of the geometric and other moduli in that ground state - size of the extra dimensions, volume of any branes, and so on. These geometric quantities are dynamical and have a lowest-energy configuration, they determine masses and couplings of strings, and masses and couplings in turn determine the size and lifetime of particles.
     
  5. Jul 15, 2018 #4

    phinds

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    The speed of light is derivative because it is has units. What's fundamental is the fine structure constant. If that's different then the speed of massless objects is different
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
  6. Jul 16, 2018 #5
    Will search for those threads to try and understand why I asked a bad question.
     
  7. Jul 16, 2018 #6
    There is no such thing as a bad question...just bad answers...keep on asking...!!!
     
  8. Aug 2, 2018 #7
    Since Lorentz group's boosts transform spacelike vectors to timelike and vice versa, time and space axes should naturally use one unit, not two different units. Velocities in those units are dimensionless, and c = 1.
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted